3 Tasks to Involve the Family in Organizing

Laundry

Get the laundry under control. Designate a day (or two) each week rather than running small loads each day. Color code laundry baskets for each household member. Deposit clean, folded garments into each and have each person put away his/her own clothing. If you hate running to the dry cleaners, then it’s time to stop buying dry clean-only clothes!

 
 

Bathroom

Avoid confusion and foster accountability in the bathroom. Assign each family member a color for toothbrushes and towels. Give each person a drawer or storage bin for personal items. Toss expired medicines and cosmetics, tattered towels, and duplicate hair styling appliances. And finally, maintain order by scheduling time to organize on a regular basis.

Car

Give your car a good spring cleaning. Grab a garbage bag and round up all the papers, food wrappers, and random trash under the seats. Spray down surfaces with cleaner, and polish till they shine. Vacuum out all the winter “yuck.” Your car will look and smell (almost) like new!

Archive Your Files With Ease

What shape is your filing system in? Are your filing drawers stuffed so full that it’s nearly impossible to get another piece of paper into — or out of — them? Once a year, you should take time to review your files and purge as much as possible, leaving room for next year’s papers.

1. Determine what to keep. As you sort through papers, ask yourself, “When will I really need this again?” “Can it be easily recreated or retrieved elsewhere?” Don’t hang onto things unless you have a really good reason! Be ruthless — remember, 80% of the things you file will never get referred to again!

2. Keep records retention guidelines in mind. Your accountant, attorney, or professional organizer can tell you which documents you should keep for legal purposes.

3. Keep only day-to-day paperwork at your fingertips. For rarely-used files that must be kept, archive them in an out-of-the-way area, such as a closet, basement, or off-site storage facility.

4. Some things can be immediately tossed. Instruction manuals for products you no longer own, old research materials, previous drafts of letters, out-of-date magazines and articles, and receipts for items past their return date can be discarded.

5. Stash important documents in a safety deposit box. It is imperative that you stock your safety deposit box or home safe with the following papers: adoption and citizenship papers; passports; birth, death, and marriage certificates; deeds; divorce decrees; insurance policy papers; lease agreements and loan documents; mortgage papers; personal property appraisals (jewelry, collectibles); Social Security cards; stock and bond certificates; vehicle titles; copies of wills; and powers of attorney papers. And don’t forget to LOCK your home safe. It is NOT fireproof unless the lock is engaged.

 

© 2016 Articles on Demand™

Being Your Best Time Master

It is not enough if you are busy. The question is, “What are you busy about?”

— Henry David Thoreau

 

With our to-do lists ever-growing, assigning tasks to our calendars can be a simple way to manage time and reduce stress. The simple act of writing down the things we need to do releases us from having to remember it all “upstairs.” Below are some tips to help you successfully manage your tasks and calendar.

• Be realistic about how long each task will take.

• Learn to say “no.”

• Delegate: when you authorize others to take over some of your activities, you free yourself to focus on where you can make your best contribution.

• For those little things that take only a minute or two (such as putting away your dirty dishes or signing a permission slip), sometimes it’s best to just do them right away.

• If the task will take 15 minutes or more, choose a specific time in which to do it. Schedule an appointment with yourself. You may need to communicate to your coworkers or family that you are unavailable due to scheduled work.

• Without a place to “assign" tasks, you'll always be in a reactive mode. Use your calendar diligently. Do things on your time, when you are ready. You are in command.

• Don’t double-book yourself or plan your appointments too close together. Planning for delays will keep you calm and allow you to enjoy the current moment. Forget about multitasking for a while; simply enjoy the pleasures of each task you do.

© 2016 Articles on Demand™

What does it mean to be a Contained Home Organizer?

We all LOVE the Container Store! Did you know we were selected to be Contained Home Professional Organizers? What are some of the benefits to you? 

 

Product Knowledge

We have knowledge of literally hundreds and hundreds of organizing products and solutions for them.  Almost any organizing dilemma can be solved by using the right product for the situation.  We can cut down on all the times you may buy something and bring it home and find out it is the wrong size or just doesn't work for the area. The sheer quantities of products out there can be overwhelming to most people.  We are able to quickly focus on the right tool for the right area.  

Closet Design

We also provide closet design services in addition to storage solutions.  What this means for you the client is we are able to solve the problem of your organizing dilemma in all areas.  When we come out and do a consultation we are always asking ourselves, "What is causing the organizing problem in this area? Is it too much stuff for the space?  Not efficient use of hanging space? Not enough shelving? Not the right containers?" In order to achieve the best results all areas need to be tackled.  We can design a closet that gives you the hanging space you need, the shoe space for all your shoes and then finish it all off with fabulous containers. 

For more information on the program, click here or email us at julie@theorganizingpro.com

Kids and Consumerism

Consumerism strikes at a young age. Advertising targeted at children is hard-hitting and hard to resist. It’s no wonder that 93 percent of American teenage girls reported that store-shopping is their favorite activity. Here are some tips to teach savvy shopping and money habits to the kids in your life.

• Teach money management skills with allowances starting at an early age. Show how money should be responsibly spent, saved, and shared.

• Establish a “new thing in, old thing out” system where some purging takes place before buying new clothes, toys, and gadgets. Limit exposure to media so there’s less temptation.

• Help high schoolers understand credit cards and how they work. Calculate interest rates so they understand what they’re really paying in the end.

• Teach kids to shop with a list and stick to it to avoid impulse purchasing. Know that kids are looking to adults for spending guidelines. If you have good habits, they will, too.

• Set up a children’s savings account. Encourage kids to set aside a percentage of their money to save for college, a car, or other long-term purchases.

• Help them find a charity that touches their hearts and encourage frequent generosity.

• Encourage community involvement, providing a healthy outlet for time and a better understanding of others and their lifestyles.

© 2016 Articles on Demand™

Easy as 1-2-3: Clutter Control for Kids

Managing the mess that kids make can be overwhelming sometimes. But by adding some simple routines and expectations, your household will function like clockwork!

Make organizing a part of each day. Let kids know that they need to be responsible for their own possessions. Teach children how to pick up after themselves. It’s important to show kids that every item they own has a “home” where it needs to return when they’re done using it. Be consistent.

Establish simple routines that are age-specific. Younger children will need more direction and simpler expectations than pre-teens and teenagers. For example, saying “Clean up your room” is overwhelming to a kindergartner. Instead, try “Please put the Legos in the shoebox and your books on the bookshelf.” Some tasks that children under five can do:

• put dirty laundry in the hamper
• clean up toys (with assistance) at the end of the day

Kids over five should also be able to:

• make their beds every day
• clean up toys throughout the day
• select their clothing for the next day
• take schoolwork out of their book bags each day

As they grow, add more responsibilities. You are giving them skills and confidence to tackle more challenging projects in the coming years. And, most important, praise your children frequently for their efforts.

Don't forget that children of all ages need routines and schedules, as well as downtime.

• Set out the breakfast dishes each evening so you have a few extra minutes to languish over breakfast treats and conversation with your family in the morning. Also, gather bookbags and double check that permission slips, sports equipment, and lunch money are ready to go. Lay out tomorrow’s clothing to avoid hassles.

• Throughout the year, maintain routines for bedtime, mealtime, chores, etc. Allow some flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.

• Slow down and unplug to enjoy and appreciate life. Turn off the TV and computer and head outside to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Set aside some special time — a weekend morning is great — to cuddle on the couch and talk about the week’s events.

© 2016 Articles on Demand™

Always Organized...Tips for Closets of All Kinds

Allow only pressed, clean, ready-to-wear clothes in your closet. If an item needs to be mended, cleaned, or ironed, it should not be in your closet. Keep your ironing or mending pile in a convenient spot so that you can tackle it while watching TV or talking on the phone.  

Place hooks on the back of the closet door to hang bathrobes, belts, or ties, or to lay out your next day’s wardrobe.

Be sure to use the entire closet space, including the vertical space under hanging clothes. For instance, underneath short-hanging garments, place a low trunk full of sweaters. A set of plastic drawers or a simple wooden dresser can hold lingerie, swimsuits, and socks.

It’s helpful to standardize your hangers. It doesn’t matter what type you prefer, just make them consistent and always hang clothes in the same direction. This will help reduce visual clutter and allow you to review your clothes at a glance. Wooden, padded, plastic tube, or velvet "huggable" hangers, rather than cheap wire ones, will keep your clothing in top-notch shape and avoid tangles. Get rid of extra hangers, which just take up space. See if your dry cleaner can recycle your unneeded wire hangers.

 
 


For shoes, consider clear plastic shoeboxes, which keep shoes dust-free and easily viewed. Or use over-the-door shoe bags or a neat shoe rack on the floor.

Building closet management into your weekly routine will reduce time and stress in your daily quest for determining what to wear. It will also allow you to make the most of your wardrobe and feel great about getting maximum use out of clothes you already own. This project may seem daunting, but its rewards are many! If you’re stuck, consider enlisting a trusted friend or The Organizing Pro to help you with the process, especially the clutter-clearing steps!

© 2016 Articles on Demand™